All political movements, including socialists and communists, govern though elites. Socialist and communist elites are workers skilled in collaboration, administration, socialist and communist theory, and the social and political skills to communicate effectively with, mobilize, and authentically represent the proletariat. Euphemisms such as avant-garde, cadres, leaders, and functionaries are often used by socialists and communists to describe elites. Lenin used "professional revolutionary."

John Higley

John Higley played a central role in classifying elites and developing a theory of elites.[1]


The ultimate purpose of a socialist or communist elite is to facilitate the natural development of a society where elites and the state itself are superfluous.

Liberal capitalist elites

Liberal capitalist elites seek social and economic solutions which ameliorate the condition of the proletariat while maintaining themselves, and their agents, as the governing elite.[2]

Notes and references

External links and further reading

Best, H. (2010). The Formation of Socialist Elites in the GDR: Continuities with National Socialist Germany/Sozialistische Elitenbildung in der DDR: Kontinuitätsstränge zum nationalsozialistischen Deutschland. Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung, 35(3 (133)), 36-46. Retrieved from

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